At Positive Motion Chiropractic in Los Gatos, we are always trying to learn and then incorporate the latest, most advanced treatments into the care of our patients. We want you to be pain-free and functioning fully so you can enjoy your life. To that end, Dr. Brant Pedersen (DC) has studied and been trained in Kinesio Taping methods.

You may have seen a local athlete with some strange tape over a joint or muscle. More likely, you might have seen some of the athletes in the 2008 Beijing Olympics with body parts covered by colorful Kinesio Tape (aka K-tape). Actually 50,000 rolls of K-tape were used at the Beijing Olympics on the athletes. The tape has many profound effects on the body. I am often asked to explain all of these in the office to a patient, but many times some pictures and a description can be more explanatory.

The History

Kinesio Tape was developed in 1973 by a chiropractor, Dr. Kenzo Kase, in Japan. He was searching for a sports taping method to assist in the healing of traumatized tissues. He found that standard taping techniques, such as athletic taping and strapping, provided muscle and joint support, however, they reduced range of motion, did not support the fascia and, in many cases, inhibited the actual healing process of traumatized tissues.

Kinesio Tape is a breathable, waterproof tape with a medical-grade, heat sensitive acrylic adhesive. It is easily tolerated and can last for 3-5 days without re-application, even in the water. It allows range of motion and does not restrict like conventional athletic tape. It has elasticity of up to 30-40% from its resting length.

Effects on The Body

Kinesio Tape works on a few different principles and I will try and simplify each of them here:

  1. Kinesio Taping of an area RELIEVES PAIN. It accomplishes this by utilizing a principle in neurology called "pain gating." Simply put, when you stimulate the skin over an area it will block some of the pain signals from the deeper tissues in that area. An example of this you are familiar with is if you hit your finger with a hammer you would rub or shake your hand and finger vigorously to decrease the pain. Conversely, you would never hit your finger with a hammer and then just stay completely still -- that would cause many more pain fibers to fire to your brain. As you move your joints and muscles, the Kinesio Tape pulls on the skin which fires sensory nerves which block some of the pain signals coming from structures below the skin. The Kinesio Tape doesn't usually take away all the pain, but it can have a dramatic and immediate effect on decreasing pain in joints and muscles.
  2. Kinesio Taping REMOVES INFLAMMATION from inflamed tissues. To understand how this works think of the skin at your forearm. If we looked at your tissues of your forearm under a microscope we would see the skin layer (actually layers), then fascia, then muscle fibers, more fascia, etc... There are many layers to your body. If you think of these layers of your body like you would a lasagna with all the layers of noodles and the "red sauce" in-between the layers. If you were to pull up on the top layer of noodles it would let the "red sauce" flow more freely. The same thing happens with the "red sauce" in your tissues; when you move the tape helps to gently traction on the layers under your skin and creates better fluid exchange, thus reducing inflammation and speeding the healing process.
  3. HELPS MOVEMENT AND BIOMECHANICS. Based on where we start taping, how we position your body prior to taping, and the stretch we put on the tape, we can influence how your body moves. When we are injured we often have poor movement patterns. Using KinesioTape we can help your biomechanics and movement and help you to heal more rapidly and with less pain.

If you have any questions regarding Kinesio Tape let us know. We love educating our patients and helping your body feel fantastic!